Lincoln University Professor of Tourism in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design will retire on 30 June after a singularly distinguished and prolific academic career.
Joining the Lincoln University teaching staff in 1980, Professor Simmons progressed to Professor in 1999, and with the exception of three years spent in Australia, has dedicated his entire academic career to the University – a total of 37 years.
During that time he has published an extensive catalogue of books, articles and chapters in high-ranking outlets, cementing his stature as a go-to industry expert and commentator. His most recent thought piece is a digital presentation that explores how New Zealand regions and businesses can adapt to a domestically-focused tourism market in the context of the global Covid-19 outbreak. Find it here
In 2015 he was awarded a Fellowship of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the highest achievable international honour for a tourism scholar.
He is in constant demand as a keynote speaker and government tourism industry advisor, and was one of only two academics invited to contribute to the New Zealand Government’s Tourism 2015 strategy. He has contributed to international tourism planning in Cambodia, Mauritius, Niue, Vanuatu, Nepal, India, Sarawak and North Korea, and advised international organisations including the WWF, UN and WTO.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie said the contributions Professor Simmons has made to Lincoln University during his tenure have been simply outstanding.
“As impressive and extensive as David’s individual accomplishments are, they are still perhaps dwarfed by the immense impact he has had on the University.
“He elevated Lincoln to national and international prominence through shaping our specialisation in tourism planning and development, as seen through a social science lens.
“Lincoln’s reputation as the university of choice for tourism studies has been as a direct result of David’s standing and influence.”
Professor Simmons leads the Lincoln University Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Tourism (CoEST), a multidisciplinary research centre (hosted in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design) that is focused on generating and supporting projects that will contribute to the development of a new blueprint for sustainable regional tourism in New Zealand and globally.
Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Associate Professor Roslyn Kerr, said that Professor Simmons was integral to the development of the CoEST.
“The importance of this focus for New Zealand is clear through the millions of dollars in government funding that David has secured over the years, allowing the tourism research programme at Lincoln to grow and thrive, culminating most recently in his leadership of our CoEST.
“David has always remained committed to shaping the future, through both research and students. He has supervised large numbers of postgraduate students with an astonishing level of pastoral care.
“This has been particularly evident in the strong relationship he has nurtured with Nepalese Mingma Norbu Sherpa Memorial Scholars, many of whom have gone on to high-level leadership positions in tourism and parks in Nepal.”
From 2008 to 2010, Professor Simmons was Director of Research for the Australian Sustainable Tourism CRC (the CRC Program is an Australian federal government science initiative that brought together 16 university and 18 industry and government partners to focus on the long-term strategic needs of the Australian tourism sector). At that time STCRC was the world’s largest dedicated tourism research agency.
Colleagues, associates and students of Professor Simmons will join him in celebrating his illustrious career at a retirement celebration hosted by the University on Friday 26 June.
More information on the Lincoln University Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Tourism can be found here www.lincoln.ac.nz.